By Sebastine OBASI
The irregular power situation in the country will soon be a thing of the past, as the federal government’s privatization policy ushers in new investors.
The Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP), Mr. Beks Dagogo-Jack, said that with the privatization of the 10 National Integrated Power Projects, (NIPPs), Nigeria’s electricity supply system will stabilize.
“This project is consistent with government’s policy to push the plants to the private sector which can manage them better. Government will create incentives for investors in the power sector to enable them participate fully. In no distant time, more megawatts will be generated and power will improve,” he said.
The PTFP Chairman noted that the planned and ongoing electricity projects by both the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the NIPP are aimed at alleviating much of the constraints.
“Let’s face it, with our population of over 160 million people living in over 25 million households; the current available peak power is just a tiny drop in the ocean. This is why we are having the blackouts.
“The load shedding, which is increasing lately, has its origin in the fact that once consumers witnessed increasing supply and reliability, previously suppressed or migrated demand started returning to the grid. People who used to only put one air-conditioning unit at their homes when using their small generators now put on all units at home,” Dagogo-Jack said.
The 10 NIPPs to be privatized include the Olorunsogo (Ogun State) phase 2, which second steam turbine unit is under commissioning; Gbarain (Bayelsa state), the first unit is expected to commence operation by September; Alaoji (Abia State), the last gas turbine unit is to be available by October; Ihovbor (Edo State), the last unit will available by August; and Ogorode (Delta State), the last unit has been completed.
The others include; Calabar (Cross River State), which last unit of the gas turbine will be available in October; Egbema (Imo State), which will commence operation in December; Omoku (Rivers State), which will commence operation in November; Omotosho (Ondo State), all units have been completed; and Geregu (Kogi State), all units have been completed.
The NIPP power stations are located in the South and North Central parts of Nigeria, where a lot of gas facilities are readily available to supply natural gas to fire and sustain the gas turbine power plants.
Dagogo-Jack, identified the transmission network as being a weak spot in the sector, compared with the upstream generation segment and downstream distribution.
“We need to have a bold and robust midstream; that means funding, because over time, there has been so much misalignment between the upstream and the midstream, between the midstream and the downstream,” he said.